Picks of the Fest

Havana Glasgow Film Festival kicks off today, and we’re all very excited about this year’s edition. Here are some staff and volunteer picks from the packed programme.

Eirene Houston – Festival Director

Eirene loves the school screenings at HGFF, giving Scottish kids their first taste of Cuban cinema. She was at this morning’s screening of ‘Habanastation’, with the film’s star Luis Alberto Garcia in attendance. She said, “Our first screening and our Glasgow students loved it. They wouldn’t leave until they all had Luis Garcia’s autograph! The second group are in now an not a free seat in the house! Don’t miss 3.30 public screening with Scottish short. ”The Great Tuck Shop Robbery”.Here’s Luis Alberto being mobbed by his new fans.

Gemma Lucha – Volunteer CinemaAttic is a platform for Spanish and Latin American cinema with the aim of entertaining, learning and spreading different cultures. Every month they hold a short film evening and that’s what we are gonna be able to enjoy in HGFF. It is their speciality, and they are always very successful, both in Glasgow and in Edinburgh. Their programme has been improving over the years, and I’m looking forward to seeing what is coming in this session, which looks very very interesting. I’m 100 per cent sure they won’t disappoint us!

Brian Beadie – Press Officer and Content Editor

Juan Padron is Cuba’s most famous, and best-loved animator – his “Elpidio Valdes” is imbibed by Cuban children alongside their mother’s milk. His finest work,, ‘Vampires in Hsvana’ is a cult film in Cuba and Spain, telling the story of Pepito, a jazz trumpeter and activist in ’30s Havana, unaware that he’s actually a vampire, thanks to his uncle having invented an antidote to sunlight. When news of this discovery breaks, they find themselves wanted men, by both the Vampire League of Dusseldorf and the Cosa Nostra. This is as much of a scream as it sounds, with stylish animation and a cool jazz score by Arturo Sandoval. It’s definitely not for small kids though, thanks to some spectacularly politically incorrect humour.

Hugo Rivalta – Festival Co-director

“Ya no es antes” is the new film by Cuban director Lester Hamlet, starring a special and beloved pair of actors, Isabel Santos and Luis Alberto García. In this very Cuban film, the public are engaged all the time with the meeting of these two friends, two lovers, separated for years by emigration and life.

These two meet again in Havana to laugh and cry, to talk about Cuba and the world, the wounds and the joys. “Ya no es antes”, reunites this pair of actors many years after both starred in the Cuban classic “Clandestinos”, also screening at the Havana Glasgow Film Festival.

This film is a fun and intense history of today’s Cuba, with exciting performances.